Posts tagged ‘reading’

Can Love Really Survive All Things?

After having spent her entire lifetime pining away for all things Russian, Kate Barnes finally gets the chance to visit the storied land of her dreams. While on vacation in Moscow, Kate runs into the wealthy, distinguished Viktor Cherkasov – and much to the surprise of both of them, they soon fall deeply in love; however, with only ten days before Kate returns home – and Viktor’s son, Alexei, determined to keep them apart – can the two fated lovers overcome the obstacles threatening to sever their burgeoning bond…?

Available now in paperback and e-book at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.


If You Write It, They Will Come

Pile of Books in Prague Library

But will they stay until the last page?

Most of the time I buy a book because: a) it was on a Best Seller list; b) it was recommended by someone on TV or radio; c) it was recommended by a friend.  Unfortunately, a lot of those times I was disappointed by the story and tossed the book into my “to be finished much, much later” pile.  This doesn’t mean I have anything against the author, it just means I have different taste.  I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about my books.

Do you finish all the books you start reading? Inquiring minds want to know.

My Summer To-do List

Every New Year’s Day I make resolutions (doesn’t everyone?) and over the years, I have kept quite a few. Most, however, are recycled into the next year, the following year, and so on. I guess you can say that I am not meticulous about New Year’s resolutions.

What I do make and keep, on the other hand, is my summer to-do list. The list is always short and filled with things I really, really want to accomplish. This year’s list is no exception:

  1. Biking.  I love biking. I feel free and calm, with the world rolling passed my eyes at a eisurely pace. I haven’t gotten to do it for quite some time due to health reasons, but this year I am treating myself to a brand new bicycle and touring the neighborhood.
  2. Read a good book. I love reading, and there is nothing better than lazing an afternoon away in the garden with a good book and a glass of iced tea.
  3.  Travel. I have not been able to travel like I used to (see #1 for reason), but that’s all behind me now. Long trip or short, I want to go to new places and do things I have always wanted to do with the one I love.

Do you have a summer to-do list?

The Beginning of My Memoir

Beauty, according to Disney


Now there’s a good start for my memoirs. But seriously, it was once upon a time when a little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes (does it sound like a Disney movie yet?) grew up in the baddest part of Brooklyn.

Determined to fit in, I oftentimes strayed off the straight and narrow path (at least once a week, accroding to the number of detention slips I got in school). Still, she had a dream.

Hidden away under my bed were at last a dozen marble composition books, and each of them were filled with short stories. Some were the stories I handed in for homework for English class to please the teacher I hated the most (which was fair because she hated me right back). Barely readable on homework looseleaf but charming works of art from a young girl’s mind when she didn’t have to worry about margins and grammar.

Fast forward to the last chapter of my memoir. Well, it can’t be the last chapter, really, because there’s still a lot of living left for me to do. And what will I be doing in the years to come? Still writing (check out my latest novel, Once Upon a Moscow Night, if you like a good love story) and watch for my newest creation coming out this fall.


From Diary to Publication

You can throw some things away especially if they get old and smelly; but all those journals and diaries you kept as a kid just might turn out to be gold.

Come on, I’m sure there are a few people out there who still have a locked diary containing an entry about that first kiss.Perhaps there is a corsage with a special memory pressed between the pages. Even some of you guys out there keep a journal of your daily events. As for me, I started keeping a diary way back in third grade. And yes, I still have it too.

Growing up, my mom could not understand the time I spent writing in the marble notebook that I kept hidden under my pillow. If I had a dime for every time she said, “Why are you wasting your time …” I’d be rich. Anyway, I continued to write. I would write poetry, short stories, paste pictures, or quote other people’s works that I found inspiring. I’d even write down the lyrics of songs that moved me in some way. I also enjoyed writing love stories. In high school, my friends would ask me to write a little romantic tale of them with their latest squeeze. Funny, it got to the point where even guys were coming up to me and asking me to write down their exploits. (Maybe that’s how I learned to write erotica?)

 In 1989, my darling hubby (boyfriend at the time) happened upon me writing one day while we were vacationing in Italy. As he read my interpretation of the past few days, including our steamy midnight activities, I expected him to start laughing at any moment. After all, he is not the mushy, romantic type of man. But he didn’t laugh. In fact, he thought it was rather good. “Not Jane Austen, but it’s a page turner,” I think were his exact words.

Inspired by this review, I began writing more and more short stories. As each new idea popped into my head, I jotted the thought onto paper. There were times, over the next ten years, when I had four or five stories in various stages of completion. I would write them in longhand on the train on the way to work, on planes when my work took me far from home. Eventually, they were painstakingly transcribed onto my computer.

Then, in 2005, I was on disability for an extended period. I spent a lot of time reading my stories, adding to them, reworking some of the plots. As I worked on one in particular, the story of a character who had been near and dear to my heart for many years, I began to wonder if it could be published. Having a book published had always been a dream of mine, but none of my stories had ever been complete enough. Perhaps it was time to complete one.

By 2006, I had the 145,283-word manuscript for the story about my favorite character, Macy. At the end of writing this slightly paranormal romantic novel, I knew that some of the secondary characters deserved to have their own stories; thus the birth of a miniseries. iUniverse Publishing offered me a contract in 2007 and Macy was released later that year. Before the Applause is scheduled for release in the fall of 2010, and If I Should Love Again in 2012.

My advice to anyone who thinks they might want to write a book … never throw a diary or a journal away; you never know where it might take you.


Yesterday I was given a priceless gift by a very dear friend.

The day started badly and remained that way until I got home and checked the mail. My friend Rose, who is more like a sister than a friend to me after all the years we’ve known each other, sent me a card.  It was one of those generic kind of Hallmark cards that allows you to write your own greeting, and inside her granddaughter had written: “Can’t wait to see you on TV!”. To this, Rose had added: “She’s telling all her friends about you and she wishes she was old enough to read your books.”

I stared at those words for a long time, speechless. And then I cried. It was one of those MasterCard moments – priceless. But the more priceless gift is my friendship with Rose and her family. I hope each one of you has at least one friend whose friendship is beyond price. I have several and count myself a very lucky woman, indeed.

What are your priceless possessions? Is it a child’s artwork, a handwritten note, an old loveletter, a photograph from a special moment? Has anyone ever given you something priceless that you will carry with you throughout your life? What are some priceless acts of friendship you’ve done or received?

It’s Survey Time!

We readers and writers are a unique and diversified group.  Some enjoy sweet romance while others delve into mystery, fantasy, or suspense. Please read the following questions in this short questionnaire and post your answers as comments. You can elaborate as much as you like, or write concise answers.

Okay, here we go!

  1. Do you prefer (to read or write) a book with plenty of conflict, or would you rather have the conflict toned down?
  2. Which do you prefer? Historical reads or present day?
  3. Do you prefer a strong, macho hero with a feminine heroine or a milder hero with a strong woman?
  4. Do you enjoy the story more or less when weaknesses are portrayed in the hero/heroine?
  5. Do you prefer stories that are character driven or plot driven?

Thanks for participating; I can’t wait to read your comments!

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